A city police officer who heard gunshots Friday afternoon quickly responded and saw a man shooting a handgun, and the officer fired at least one round himself before the gunmen escaped, according to a department spokesman.

Police said the armed man jumped into the passenger seat of a silver-colored car that sped away from West North Avenue and McCulloh Street about 3:15 p.m., leaving behind two victims suffering from gunshot wounds. Both were taken to area hospitals for treatment.

Det. Jeremy Silbert, a police spokesman, said detectives did not know if the officer's rounds struck anyone. He said one victim was found in the 1300 block of West North Ave. and the other man was at the intersection about a block away.

The conditions of the victims were not immediately known, but homicide detectives responded because of the severity of their injuries. Police described the victims as adult males. The shooting occurred at the southern edge of the Reservoir Hill neighborhood.

Peter.hermann@baltsun.com

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